Democratic Progressive Caucus General Election Endorsements
The following progressive Democrats have demonstrated through their votes, position statements and/or political engagement that whether they serve in Washington, Tallahassee or their local community, they will fight for progressive values and put people over politics.
DPCF endorsed candidates are:
David Bruderly – Congressional District 4
Corry Westbrook – Congressional District 8
Jim Lange – Congressional District 15
Jan Schneider – Congressional District 16
April Freeman – Congressional District 17
Alina Valdes – Congressional District 25
Phillip Brutus – Senate District 38
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell – Senate District 39
Ray Guillory – House District 2
David Kearns – House District 53
Lorena Grizzle – House District 66
John Scott – House District 79
Mary Higgins – House District 82
Carlos Puentes – House District 110
Jeffrey “Doc” Solomon – House District 115
Robert Asencio – House District 118
Amendment 1 – NO
Ballot Title: RIGHTS OF ELECTRICITY CONSUMERS REGARDING SOLAR ENERGY CHOICE
Ballot Summary: Establishes a right under Florida’s constitution for consumers to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property to generate electricity for their own use. State and local governments shall retain their abilities to protect consumer rights and public health, safety and welfare, and to ensure that consumers who do not choose to install solar are not required to subsidize the costs of backup power and electric grid access to those who do.
This amendment is a deceptive effort by the utility companies to limit the amount of solar energy that can be generated by individuals.
Amendment 2 – YES
Ballot Title: USE OF MARIJUANA FOR DEBILITATING MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Ballot Summary: Allows medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Applies only to Florida law. Does not immunize violations of federal law or any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana.
This amendment is similar to the one that received almost 58% support on the 2014 ballot.
Amendment 3 – NO*
Ballot Title: TAX EXEMPTION FOR TOTALLY AND PERMANENTLY DISABLED FIRST RESPONDERS
Ballot Summary: Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize a first responder, who is totally and permanently disabled as a result of injuries sustained in the line of duty, to receive relief from ad valorem taxes assessed on homestead property, if authorized by general law. If approved by voters, the amendment takes effect January 1, 2017.
Amendment 5 – NO*
Ballot Title: HOMESTEAD TAX EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN SENIOR, LOW-INCOME, LONG-TERM RESIDENTS; DETERMINATION OF JUST VALUE
Ballot Summary: Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to revise the homestead tax exemption that may be granted by counties or municipalities for property with just value less than $250,000 owned by certain senior, low-income, long-term residents to specify that just value is determined in the first tax year the owner applies and is eligible for the exemption. The amendment takes effect January 1, 2017, and applies retroactively to exemptions granted before January 1, 2017.
*The DPCF opposes putting specific tax exemptions into the Florida Constitution. We believe that the Florida Legislature should simplify and reform tax policy rather than muddle the constitution with amendments that apply only to specific groups. Complicating our state’s governing framework with amendments like 3 and 5 will make that reform more difficult to achieve.
In addition, we believe that Floridians with disabilities and elderly Floridians are currently being under-served due to the legislature’s misguided budget priorities. According to Politico, over 6,000 Floridians died while awaiting home- and community-based services in 2014-2015. Instead of passing targeted tax cuts that will further reduce general revenues, the Florida Legislature should fund and expand existing programs to meet the needs of our most state’s most vulnerable.
The Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida is an official charter of the Florida Democratic Party.
Committed To Win
Through the Leadership Expansion to Advance Democrats (LEAD) Task Force, the Florida Democratic Party (FDP) signaled that it is serious about examining shortfalls and correcting course in order to win back Florida. State Democrats are ignited by the challenge and have taken up the call for change. The Strategies and Tactics for Electing Progressives, or STEP Report is offered as a plan for implementing that change.
As we developed this report, one theme became prominent across all of our discussions: We must be committed to the long game. It took years for Democrats to lose so much ground in Florida. It will take time to climb back on top.
The premise of the STEP Report is that we must re-think our philosophy, prioritize our resources, and align our activity around the long game.
Without this perspective, it would be easy to write off some STEP recommendations by saying, “We just don’t have the money, it’s not practical.” On the contrary, the STEP recommendations will better leverage our resources by building capacity for greater fundraising power and a stronger grassroots infrastructure.
The strategies and tactics described in this report are based on:
- Shifting budget priorities to those which strengthen the ability of the FDP to empower, mobilize, and grow the field.
- Strategically building a bench of candidates aimed for out-year races as well as current cycles. Mentoring candidates in order to develop their capacity to succeed as candidates and leaders.
- Refusing to accept midterm dropoff as a given. Capitalizing on this cycle’s populist momentum to sustain future voter engagement.
- Adapting to an evolving media landscape with a broader, coordinated network of messengers. Making the party bigger and better by cultivating a relationship between the FDP and a field network in order to amplify the Democratic voice across the state.
The Democratic Progressive Caucus welcomes dialogue and collaboration with DECs, Clubs, and Caucuses and the FDP in order to move the STEP recommendations forward. We are committed to win.